by Dave Noble, City News Editor
ELMHURST – Stocked up on enough provisions to survive for months without leaving home yet determined to escape the feeling of being trapped inside of their multi-million-dollar mansions, Elmhurst residents collectively shrugged their shoulders on Friday and ventured out into the middle of a winter storm that buried the town in nearly a foot of snow over a 24-hour period.
Whether it was to walk their dogs, catch the Metra train to downtown Chicago or make their 6:00 a.m. spin class at FITT/RX, residents bundled up in their heaviest REI-purchased winter gear and went about their daily routines without thinking twice about the hazardous conditions brought on by the snow that began Thursday evening and continued through Friday.
“Regardless of the weather, ‘Cubby’ here wants to go for a walk and will have to take a few dumps throughout the day,” said Elmhurst resident Eric Miles on Friday morning, kicking some snow over a small pile of feces left moments ago by his Boston Terrier on the anonymously-snowplowed sidewalk of 900 S. Hawthorne St. “Elmhurst always comes together as a community to get through times like this. So, we’ll be alright.”
Despite the change of routine for some people brought on by the closing of schools and the cancellation of carjackings and home invasions, residents adapted to everything that came with the heaviest snowfall in Elmhurst since 2015 and challenged themselves against the elements through means such as jogging down the unplowed Prairie Path and driving through town without any effort whatsoever to remove the fallen snow from their vehicle.
“I simply snow-skitched over to Starbucks for a latte,” said S. Kenilworth resident Mindy Riesling early Friday afternoon, sharing the warmth of a trash can fire with a handful of other Elmhurst residents inside the abandoned construction site across the street from City Centre, where Plass Appliances once stood. “People who live around here adapt well to the conditions.”
While some businesses were closed because of the winter storm, places like Portillo’s, the York Theatre and Doti Liquors were packed throughout the day and into the evening. Residents also took advantage of the opportunity to go sledding at Crestview Park and Eldridge Park. The sled hill at Berens Park remained closed, however, after it cracked into two pieces last month during a stretch of sub-zero temperatures.
This story will be updated throughout the weekend, as Elmhurst is expected to get more snow on both Saturday and Sunday.